I Some people may think that just

I Some people may think that just

I believe a role model is someone that everyone can look up to, no matter what your background consists of. Some people may think that just because someone is a professional athlete making profane amounts of money, qualifies them to be a role model, well I disagree. A role model should be a person that has had to overcome obstacles throughout their life, in order to get where they are today.My role model is Jim Abbott.Abbott’s story is quite inspiring. Jim Abbot was born without a right hand. Everyone doubted that he would be able to live life normally, much less have a phenomenal athletic career.

He was the captain of his football team as quarterback in high school. Jim was also a star pitcher for his high school baseball team. He accomplished this by creating his own style of pitching. His ability to hold his glove on the stump of his right arm, while firing a fastball with his left arm, and then flipping the glove onto his good hand in a matter of a millisecond, in case a ball was hit back at him. Jim would then catch the ball, place the glove under his right arm and then pull the ball out of his glove with his left hand, to get ready for the next pitch.

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The following three years he spent playing baseball for the Wolverines at the University of Michigan. Each of the three years he led his team to Big Ten championships, and eventually accomplished his ultimate goal, to make it to the Big Show. In 1987 Jim led Team USA to the silver medal in the Pan American games, after carrying the US flag for the opening ceremonies. Only one year later in the Seoul Olympics, he pitched in the gold medal-winning game against Japan. Abbott’s accomplishments won him the 1988 Golden Spikes Award, given to the nation’s top amateur baseball player, not to mention the Sullivan Award, which is given each year to the nation’s top amateur athlete (he was the first baseball player ever to win this award).

In 1989 Jim Abbott became a professional. As a starting pitcher who could throw a 90 mph fastball, spin a back-breaking curve ball, and a killer slider. Abbott spent four solid seasons with the California Angels before getting traded to the New York Yankees, which is where he threw his first no-hitter. After finally getting settled in New York, he was then traded to the Chicago White Sox for the remainder of the 1995 season. He didnt fit well into Chicagos rotation, so they decided to ship him back to his original team, the California Angels.He pitched well during spring training and looked forward to the 1996 season, but his confidence and strong left arm had finally failed him.

He was sent to the bullpen as a reliever late in the season. After a couple of months working out of the bullpen, and still not being able to fix his problems, they briefly sent him to the minor leagues, which was the first time in his professional career. Although he returned for spring training with the Angels in 1997, the team released him before opening day.

Jim took a year off, due to his wifes pregnancy with his son. Following the year out of baseball, Jim contacted the White Sox. Chicago agreed to give him a chance to come back in 1998 only if he proved himself in the minors first. He agreed, and was eventually called back up to the Majors, he then proceeded to win his last five starts for the White Sox. Jim Abbott is living proof that ANYTHING can be accomplished.

There are millions of little kids around the world that dream about becoming a professional baseball player. When the odds of making it to the Big Leagues are so slim, how was it possible for a man with the disability that Jim Abbott had, to become a professional athlete? Simply through hard work and dedication. Now dont you think he deserves to be considered as a role model? Words/ Pages : 707 / 24

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